Youth employment plan works
A programme to get young unemployed people into work has produced spectacular results.A programme to get young unemployed people into work has produced spectacular results. The daily 'De Standaard' reports that the number of youngsters under 26 that are looking for work has fallen by 39% since the Youth Unemployment Plan was launched two years ago.
Even among the most vulnerable group of youngsters with a low level of academic attainment, unemployment is down by almost a third.
Meanwhile, unemployment among young Flemings from the ethnic minorities has fallen by almost 40% since 2005.
Thirteen towns and cities across Flanders
The Youth Unemployment Plan was brought in two years ago to tackle the problem in thirteen youth unemployment black spots across Flanders.
All the region's big cities are included in the scheme as are other towns and municipalities with high levels of youth unemployment such as the former Limburg mining municipality of Beringen.
Many of the towns have sizeable ethnic minority communities.
Across the 13 towns and cities as whole, the level of employment among youngsters from ethnic minority backgrounds fell by 38%.
The most spectacular fall came in the Limburg municipalities of Beringen, Houthalen-Helchteren and Heusden-Zolder, where there are now between 50% and 66% fewer ethnic minority youngsters unemployed than was the case two years ago.
The city of Mechelen (Antwerp province) has also seen unemployment among its ethnic minority youth fall by 48% since 2005.
There is even more encouraging news from Mechelen, as figures from the local Employment Support Unit show that more and more employers are opening their doors to jobseekers from the ethnic minorities.